Kris Harring opened a new dimension to the formal wear sphere with the debut of her gender neutral evening wear line on September 6th in Brooklyn.
The capsule collection showcased 7 looks, each featuring different elements from the classic tuxedo in a merger of the worlds of mens and womenswear through her use of fabrics and silhouettes.
Harring brings a lot of experience to this line, having designed and consulted with brands including Ermenegildo Zenga, Armani Exchange, Van Heusen, Henri Bendel and DKNY. In the summer of 2016, she began designing custom tailored wear for client weddings and doing alterations out of her home studio. The issue of gender neutral options for weddings became an increasing question among her clients and friends, and this sparked her interest in creating something new.
I caught up with her on her process for the the line and her thoughts of the future of formal wear.
Can you tell me about the themes you played with for this line?
The main theme around my debut collection was the deconstruction and re-imagination of the classic tuxedo. I wanted to start a personal conversation of what gender neutral eveningwear could look like by playing with the shape and silhouette of traditional tailored garments such as the tuxedo and tuxedo shirt and combining those silhouettes with fabrics associated with both formal men’s and womenswear (wool, satins and organzas).
I loved the idea of using sheer fabrics & open back design details to represent vulnerability and openness while also giving the collection a strong, sexy vibe when a tailored piece. I think it was a great mesh of the masculine and feminine.
Another theme I wanted to touch upon was the importance of individuality and assurance of self through wardrobe. I specifically focused on creating wearable basics that could be mixed and match and incorporated into ones current wardrobe to curate your own style.
The question I'm sure everyone is wondering: When will the clothes be available to purchase?
We will have select styles from the line available for pre-order this fall! For styles not available and for clients wanting custom pieces, I am available by appointment. Please check my website www.krisharring.com and sign up for updates!
What inspired your various creative pant leg bottoms?
I always enjoy a great tailored pant and I think it’s just fun to add subtle design details that won’t affect the fit so having a traditional tux with a high low hem on the pant or a slit in the back; its fun and I think can make one feel like more relaxed when they aren’t normally wearing a formal look; again sticking with the theme of re-imagining the classics.
How do you feel this line is shaping the future of formal wear?
Formalwear in the genderqueer and gender-neutral space has been a conversation that’s been a long time coming. Even amongst my friends and I; we were always coming back to one question when it came to our wardrobes; “What the heck are we going to wear when we go to a formal event or when we get married.”
A lot of my social circle is getting married or attending weddings, progressing in their careers where they are attending more formal events and galas, or going to red carpet and want to have the option of dressing for the occasion without having to go with the traditional tuxedo or wearing a dress or a gown. I feel like this line is the start of what I look forward to having, which is a longer conversation of what gender neutral looks and feels like in the formalwear space. This is only the beginning for me.
Why are you so awesome??
Oh man — I’m simply a product of an amazing environment of creative, inspiring community of people. Its motivating to be surrounded by queer POCs who are true to themselves and walking firmly in their skin. I take all of that energy and all of that strength and create with it.
Stephanie Woolley and Carley Oser
Kris Harring collaboration with Lingua Nigra
Richard Beavers Gallery in Bed Stuy
As Qwear's Founding Editor, Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear does not dictate their chances of survival. Sonny was awarded 2015 dapperQ of the Year and was the first trans blogger to be sponsored by Topman. In March 2016, Sonny spoke at South by South West's first official queer fashion panel.